Outdoor art projection to be shown on wall of Summerville pool as part of The Essentials: Art and Urban Recovery Series

An image from Alvin Luong’s Life Preserver. The artwork will be projected on the south wall of the Donald D. Summerville Pool, at the foot of Woodbine Avenue, nightly from Oct. 21 to 24. Photo: Submitted.

A wall of the Donald D. Summerville Pool at the foot of Woodbine Avenue will be turned into a giant projection screen this week as part of the outdoor public art project The Essentials: Art and Urban Recovery.

A three-part series, The Essentials is being presented by The Bentway and The Waterfront BIA. It is part of the City of Toronto’s Big ArtTO initiative which is encouraging residents to go outside, explore their neighbourhoods and enjoy art while observing safe COVID-19 protocols.

It will examine what is “essential now, reaffirming priorities and commitments for a post-COVID Toronto” through art projections on the walls of large buildings in and around the city’s waterfront.

Each art projection is approximately 10 to 15 minutes long and will be repeated on a continuous loop during the display hours.

Examining what is essential as we all deal with the realities of COVID-19, the toll it is taking and what we now most value was the theme taken up by the three Toronto artists commissioned for the displays.

“This year has forever altered the foundations of public life, challenging our understanding and appreciation of routine, mobility, education, and so much more,” said Ilana Altman, co-executive director of The Bentway in a press release.

“All of us are questioning what we deem essential – from basic freedoms, to critical labour, to crucial kindness. To explore these questions, we were truly thrilled to commission these new projects and meet Torontonians in their own neighbourhoods.”

The projection planned for the Summerville pool is Life Preserver by Alvin Luong.

It will run nightly from Wednesday, Oct. 21 to Saturday, Oct. 24 on the south-side wall of the Summerville pool from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Essentials press release says Life Preserver examines the essential need for food, shelter and mobility. Many of the scenes were shot along the waterfront in the Beach.

“In Alvin Luong’s Life Preserver, a leisurely walk along the water leads to the discovery of a bundle of food that has been washed ashore. The bundle appears purposeful in its assembly, yet its function is unknown,” says the release.

“The artwork is inspired by the essentials of food, shelter and mobility; and the pursuit of these essentials by people across geographies, histories and nations.”

The Essentials series began on with its first projection from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 on the walls of the Canada Malting Silos at the foot of Bathurst Street. Created by artist Erika DeFreitas it examined the architectural lines “and cracks” of many of Toronto’s buildings.

The third projection in The Essentials series will also take place in East Toronto.

Artist Wendy Truong’s work will be projected on the wall of Canada Post’s South-Central processing plant on Eastern Avenue from Wednesday, Nov. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. each night.

Truong’s work is titled Interchanges, and takes inspiration from the mail distribution system and the parallel system of seed distribution.

Everyone is invited to come outside and view The Essentials projections while taking care to be safe and limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

For more information on The Essentials, please visit https://www.thebentway.ca/event/the-essentials-art-and-urban-recovery/

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